Making a dream home
Steve Appler, along with architect friend Jeff Henneman, custom-designed his home. Built in the Arts & Crafts style, the exterior is fiber cement and cedar shake siding on two gables. Its foundation is of stone salvaged from the old St. Alphonsus Church in Woodstock. It is wedged into the hilly, craggy terrain of Oella, an old mill town established in 1808 in Baltimore County.
Eschewing clutter, the Applers have chosen a minimal amount of what they call "comfortably overstuffed" furniture in soft, worn-looking leather. Woods of choice are oak and pine resting on bamboo flooring. In keeping with the Arts & Crafts appeal, the couple included multi-paned transoms atop the doorways and chunky, square newel posts on an open stairway. Wide blinds, rather than curtains, hang on the downstairs windows.
An old outhouse on the Applers' property (indoor plumbing did not come to the mill town of Oella until the 1980s) has been converted to a tool shed by the couple.
Framed, silkscreened works hang on the walls throughout the home. These include landscapes by Christian Title and Don Hatfield. Treasured furniture pieces from Penny Appler's favorite aunt have been incorporated into the home's décor, including a handsome, Sheridan-style mahogany buffet in the dining room and a mahogany secretary in a guest bedroom.